What do the US protests and the UK’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic tell us about inequality, discrimination and social rights in the ‘Anglosphere’?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

Violence erupts across more than 75 US cities on a sixth night of protests sparked by the death in police custody of African American George Floyd. In London, the UK Government delays the release of an official review of the impacts of COVID-19 on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) Britons. At the end of April one of the UN’s …

Inequality, discrimination and social rights in the ‘Anglosphere’

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

At the end of April one of the UN’s most high-profile Special Rapporteurs, Philip Alston , finished his six-year mandate on extreme poverty and human rights . Over that time, he completed around a dozen country missions to places including Spain, Malaysia, Lao, Ghana, Saudi Arabia and China. Yet in many ways his tenure as Special Rapporteur was defined by two visits in particular: to the United States (December 2017). and …

Is the world really ‘backsliding’ on human rights, and is it getting worse with the Covid-19 pandemic?

by the URG team Blog, Blog, In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms

Even before the outbreak of the current COVID-19 pandemic, commentary on the worldwide human rights situation was characterised, to a large degree, by negative assertions of an unfolding human rights crisis. Powered by influential voices at the UN, as well as by civil society and the media, the general public narrative was often one of backsliding in the world’s major …

The UN human rights treaty system: Getting closer to the ground?

by Christof Heyns, Professor of Human Rights Law, Univeristy of Pretoria and Member of the UN Human Rights Committee and Willem Gravett, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

In a 2017 post on this site (and drawing on an idea advanced 20 years ago by Christof Heyns and Frans Viljoen ), we argued that the current process of reform of the human rights treaty system should include efforts to “bring the treaty system closer to the people on the ground.” More specifically, treaty bodies should not only conduct their work in Geneva, but also hold meetings away from their home base, in particular in the …

The Human Rights Council in 2019

by Geneva International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, Policy reports

The Human Rights Council in 2019

‘The Human Rights Council in 2019’ report aims to provide, inter alia: A written analysis of the main events and development at the Council in 2019. Data on the quantitative evolution of the Council’s work in 2019, as well as since the body’s establishment in 2006. This includes the number of resolutions adopted; the number of voted resolutions; the number …

OSLO+1 – International support for the national implementation of UN human rights recommendations, including as a contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

by the URG team Beyond the Council, In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms, Policy reports

OSLO+1 – International support for the national implementation of UN human rights recommendations, including as a contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

On 10 May 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden and the Swedish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Sida), in cooperation with the Universal Rights Group (URG), convened a meeting of bilateral and multilateral development partners in Stockholm on how international cooperation could be better leveraged to support the national implementation of international human rights obligations and commitments. This …

The Universal Periodic Review

Clustering and the integrated implementation of recommendations: The key to unlocking the complementary power of the UN’s compliance mechanisms

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and Mariana Montoya International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, Policy reports

Clustering and the integrated implementation of recommendations: The key to unlocking the complementary power of the UN’s compliance mechanisms

Over the past seventy years, United Nations (UN) member States have elaborated and adopted eight ‘core’ international human rights treaties. Together with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, these conventions provide the normative and legal backbone of the UN human rights system. Since their adoption, the number of States choosing to ratify and thus become Party to those treaties has …

The nature of power and influence at the Human Rights Council: a membership network analysis

by the URG team Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Why do States run for membership of the Human Rights Council? All UN Member States are, in principle, able to participate in and contribute to the work of the Council, either as a member or an observer. So why do some States choose to ‘go the extra mile’ and campaign for a seat on the body? The answer is that …

Report on the 73rd session of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

Quick summary The Third Committee of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (GA) was held 2 October 2018 through 20 November 2018, at the UN Secretariat in New York. This Third Committee featured presentations by a number of senior UN officials, including H.E. Ms. Michelle Bachelet, High Commissioner for Human Rights; Mr. Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) for human …

Special Rapporteur calls on the UN to recognize the universal right to a healthy environment

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, Universal Rights Group NYC

Last week, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, David R. Boyd, made a historic push at the UN General Assembly for the human right to a healthy environment to be recognised at the global level. During his landmark address at the GA’s Third Committee, Boyd argued, firstly, that official UN recognition of the human right to a healthy environment would bolster and enhance work already underway …